Kurdish Warrior Women Fearlessly fighting the evils of ISIS at every turn. Made especially fierce by the knowledge of what ISIS will do to them if they are captured. And made an especially effective due to the fact that ISIS fighters believe that if killed by a woman they will be chastised in the afterlife.

I went out like a sleepwalker. Aroused by nightmares. I began searching for my homeland, in all continents, on earth and in heaven. Praying. Reciting every supplication. Carrying shrines. And a generation of orphaned martyrs. And a generation of veteran martyrs. And another awaiting the massacre… oh homeland of the innocent, were you for us a graveyard or a homeland? - Abd Al Latif Ataymish 

Pity the children. 

An Iraqi young boy holds a weapon from the window of a car as people gather to show readiness to join Iraqi security forces in the fight against Jihadist militant who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities in the capital Baghdad.

If someday a delegate comes to my land and asks me: “Where is the grave of the Unknown Soldier here?” I will tell him, “Sir, on the bank of any stream. In the bend of any Mosque. In the shade of any home. On the threshold of any Church. At the mouth of any cave. In the mountains of any rock. In the gardens of any tree. In my country, on any span of land, under any cloud in the sky. Do not worry. Make a slight bow and place your wreath of flowers.

In northern Iraq, where soldiers are battling the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, one fiery singer is on a mission to stir up patriotic sentiment.

Crimson-haired Iraqi performer Helly Luv has a recording contract in the U.S., but she didn’t want to shoot her latest video in Hollywood.

Her track, called “Revolution,” is a tribute to the ethnically Kurdish soldiers known as peshmerga who are fighting against ISIS. So she took a video team to a front-line village, as bullets flew and battles raged.

“Yeah!” she tells me. “We shot the video right there, and it was so crazy.”

The video features a bejeweled Helly Luv — herself Kurdish — dancing in a traditional peshmerga outfit, and in a tank firing a shell.

“Rise up, ‘cause we’re so much stronger as one,” she sings in English. “Breaking the silence as loud as a gun. Brothers and sisters, we all come from one. Different religions, we share the same blood.”

In Iraq, A Kurdish Warrior-Diva Sings Against ISIS, Despite Threats

IRAQ. Bashur (Southern Kurdistan). Nineveh governorate. Near Zummar. 2014. A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells towards Zummar, which is controlled by Islamic State militants.

Photograph: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Every time a dictator falls from the throne of history, embellished with our tears, I clap my hands until they glow red. But back home when I turn on the television, another dictator flows from the mouths of the people… from a screen glowing with cheers. I die with laughter at my naive self. Tears burn my eyes until they glow red. - Adnan Al Sayegh